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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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---continuation commentary #39c---

Etching 39 Pine Forest  from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by C. Miranda Chor

Natives distinguish between Pinheiro vermelho ( it is called 'red pine' by the Brazilians in comparison with the European pine) -- and Pinheiro branco (white pine), since the wood of the former, which forms taller, upright trunks, is thought to be denser and heavier than the wood of the latter. Examined through a microscope, the wood is congruent with the structure of the other cone-bearing trees. For it displays those pores that they first discovered singly in conifers, and those, as in the Araucariae of Australia, in double rows, not in one row as in European pine species. The bark is split like that of our pines, though mostly at a slant, so that the wooden body of the tree is covered with either dark yellow-grey or blackish scales, which are raven black on the inside. 

Sometimes it is quite thick; inside of it, just as much as in young wood, a Araucaria from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! red kind of odiferous resin is separated out, comparable in its properties and efficacy to the turpentine of Europe. A material that serves various needs of craftsmen, its wood is even esteemed fit, when the region lacks other stronger trees, for the construction of buildings; only where it is protected from moisture, however, does it remain durable for a fairly long time. Its cones open within two years; the mature fruit, which falls singly from the common receptacle of the cone, is consumed by both animals and human beings, just as pine-nuts in Italy, and is for sale in town marketplaces. 

The hardness of the wood is more like that of a larch tree than of firs. The rods formed where the tree has shaken off its branches excel in their hardness. Dobrizhofer reports (4) that from these rods, the Guarani sculpt figures of the saints and fashion their prayer chains. Finally he adds that whole forests of Araucaria are found also in some regions of the Spaniards, who call them los Pinnares; and that the Guarani indians sow these Brazilian evergreens here and there near habitations and gardens.

Etching commentary #39c